Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Clothesline Project: Breaking The Silence

Today I call your attention to The Clothesline Project of Tampa Bay, one of 300 chapters worldwide dedicated to breaking the silence and raising public awareness about violence against women.

A woman is battered every 14 seconds in the U.S., 24/7.

Every minute of every day, 24/7, a woman is raped in the U.S.

And 3-4 women are killed by their partners each day.

Despite this widespread misery, violence against females has been relegated to the sidelines as an unfortunate statistic of low priority.

To help raise consciousness about the need to change the values in this country that support such terrorism of women, women who have been the victims of violence are encouraged to express themselves on T-shirts which are then displayed for public viewing.

A form of art therapy, victims are provided with the art supplies and shirt necessary to make their statement about what has happened to them.

Clothesline's T-shirts are displayed this month by Laurie Sullivan at Sullivan Gallery in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The gallery will have an open house and fundraising auction Saturday. See the story in the St. Petersburg Times on-line.

Clothesline Project volunteers also work to assist victims in their healing by offering workshops and training sessions.

The work this organization is doing is beyond vital. Raising awareness and helping communities find solutions to heal the consciousness that allows the terrorism of women is something that not only every church should concern itself with, but our government.

Women are the backbone of the family. If they are not safe and secure, it jeopardizes the family and, thereby, the nation.

Having said that, it is important to understand that each of us contributes to human collective consciousness and, therefore, we all share in this problem. We can't foist it off on some agency. We each must each tackle this issue in our own heart.

Prayerforce: 365 Days To A New Life offers you the tools for doing the inner work of changing humanity's attitudes toward women. An entire section is filled with prayers for women and honoring the feminine. It can be ordered here.

For immediate on-line prayer help, I offer you this link to a Prayer for Freedom From Molestation.

God bless you and keep you safe.


At 8/27/2005 7:45 PM, Blogger Jay Denari said...

This is also an important issue to me and my girlfriend. It appalls me that it's the 21st Century, yet some people still argue, if not believe, it's their right (or, in some cases & places, their divine duty) to "control" women by force and/or to abuse/molest children. While this is something that seems more overt in places like Nigeria (according to a recent NY Times/International Herald Tribune article), it's all too common here, too.

What's especially disturbing is that the religious Right, if they get their way, would effectively encourage such behavior by suppressing women's rights to stand up for themselves and by enforcing the whole female "submission" attitude.

One of our favorite organizations involved in this fight is RAINN, but there's an incredibly large number of websites dedicated to this issue.

At 10/07/2005 7:04 AM, Blogger Dale Shade said...

Thank you for your prayers. I am the director/coordinator of "Clothesline Project of Tampa Bay". I have dedicated my life to this worthwhile cause, leaving my full-time job to do so.

Jay mentions RAINN as one of his favorite organizations. That's wonderful! I am also involved with RAINN in the Tampa Bay area.

For anyone living in the Tampa Bay area (particularly in Pinellas County), there are two sessions being held on October 26th and October 27th regarding the prevalence and dynamics of domestic violence, and intervention strategies for when family violence makes it way to church. All clergy, nursees, and anyone else interested in learning more about domestic violence are welcome. The sessions are as follows:
Wednesday, October 26 8am - noon
St. Anthony's Hospital Auditorium Ground Floor, 1200 7th Ave. North, St. Petersburg; and
Thursday, October 27, 8am - noon
Mease Dunedin Hospital, Meeting Rooms 1 and 2; 601 Main Street, Dunedin.
Breakfast will be provided. To register, call (727)825-1709.

Clothesline Project will be display a small portion of shirts at both of these sessions.


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